Sun & Sunflowers (and a very dry summer)

Yellow Sunflower with honeybee

I thought I’d start with something cheery. Certain flowers, like daffodils or sunflowers, just brighten the moment — a garden anti-depressant — kissing your face with affectionate optimism and inducing an autonomic smile.

I think I’d be going nuts by now if I didn’t have a garden and I wish I had magical powers to bestow access to a garden (or nature spot) on anyone who is yearning for it and doesn’t yet have.

That said, I hope its healing presence will continue. Climate change feels like it’s escalating quickly and environmental instability is threatening life forms on many levels.

The extreme drought here continues and I’m feeling for the people of Mendocino, California who are running out of water. Our garden is very dry with truncated harvests. The raspberry patch may not survive the year. The birds and wildlife are hungry and thirsty and gravitating to the garden for their own survival.

This wasn’t the first time a red-shouldered hawk visited the fountain, but it has been staking out the garden frequently this year. I’m guessing because the gophers and other rodents are also gravitating to the irrigated garden.

I also feel for those in the path of the wildfires and smoke. By some luck, our area has been spared most of the smoke, wildfires and heatwaves so far this year.

My heart is also with some loved ones who are dealing with health issues. Myself, I’m still confined to walking with crutches these last two months. I may have a knee surgery in my future. Not sure yet. Needless to say, it’s been hard to keep up with summer gardening chores with a painful knee. I’ve ordered an outdoor electric tricycle for grown-ups. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope it will help me regain a bit of mobility in the garden.

And then there is ongoing unfoldment of the pandemic and the return of some restrictions due to the Delta variant.

White scabiosa and pink zinnia. I’m trying to increase our butterfly habitat plants.

For a diversion, we went on a day trip to a couple of towns we like. It was lovely to see some expansive vistas along the drive. But in the towns, most of my favorite shops and cafes had permanently closed. Alas, I came home again with renewed gratitude for the garden (and the little espresso machine).

Though I’m an introvert and generally love solitude, you can probably tell that I’m having my restless days too.

How are all of you doing? Has life gone back to “normal” for you?

Once, years ago, I remember going outside to the garden, and lying down on a lawn cot. Something was weighing on me at the time — I don’t remember what now. The warm sun permeated me as I lay there. I could hear birdsong in the distance. And I felt the gentle wind wash over me and through garden like an invisible wave. Gazing at the sky sparked wonderment, as it so often does. And slowly the knots of the mind rolled off to the side for a rest too. And nearby was a gathering of daffodils, existing in a gentle dance with the breeze. And it was good to just be.

I hope all of you are able to access your peaceful place, inwardly and outwardly! Here’s a walk through the garden.

Rosemary and pomegranate help provide a refuge of drought-hardy greenery.
Bunny tails inter-planted with the zinnias and white scabiosa

Until next time….

Read more garden blog posts here.

Go to the Home page of The Compulsive Gardener.

8 thoughts on “Sun & Sunflowers (and a very dry summer)

  1. Despite the drought you have managed to have some beautiful flowers. My
    Vitex is not in flower yet but my my Kuri squash looks the same as yours. I have not noticed perfume from the flowers of the squash yet. So either I have not been early enough or it has not been warm enough here. I have to say that I am so glad you have not had forest fires but at the same time it sounds ridiculous to say that, but unfortunately so true that it hurts. I cannot contemplate the wild animals stuck in their ever decreasing, unproductive environments. I love the quiet and peace of the garden and the countryside but I have found the two past years strange and unsettling. I have practised my yoga more and feel that has helped. I can do it in the garden now and that is beautiful. Amelia

    1. Thanks Amelia. Good to hear from you, as always. I haven’t noticed perfume in the Kuri squash yet either, but I assumed it’s because I’m a night owl and never up in the early morning. Didn’t you mention that is the best time to smell the blossoms? Either way, I love the Kuri squash. The shape and color have an unusual beauty. Yes, it’s getting so strange–wildfires having become part of our annual focus now in the last 3 or 4 years. I’m glad you can do yoga in your garden…that sounds very peaceful and restorative and a good way to cope with everything.

  2. I so enjoy your blogs. Here in Kansas, we have had a couple of rains this last week to help. But the heat with high humidity is oppressive. Keep blogging, I love it!

  3. Beautiful post. I share your anxieties, and yes the garden can provide solace. Despite the drought you have a lot of beautiful blooms, especially the sunflowers! After very dry conditions, we have been hit with three days of rain and high winds. My tall plants have fallen over, including the Tithonia and some of the Sunflowers.

    1. Thank you so much! Sorry to hear about your weather and the tithonia and sunflowers. It was funny taking pictures for the blog this time–just outside of the frame of all of them is parched landscape. The photos encapsulate the only blooms and greenery in the garden. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. It is really shocking all those extreme temperatures that are measured all over the world. Now values โ€‹โ€‹of almost 50ยฐC are also expected in Spain and Portugal !!
    Then there are the forest fires that are barely under control…. where is our world going?
    Hopefully you can make the right decisions about your knee and the mobility it needs to work in your garden.

    1. Oh my goodness… I can’t imagine dealing with those high temps expected in Spain and Portugal! Yes, it’s very concerning what’s going on all over the globe with climate change. I hope we humans can wake up and do what we can to reduce our impact. Thanks for your good wishes about my knee and for writing in Rudi! I enjoy your blog as well. -lisa

Leave a Reply to afrenchgarden Cancel reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: